“Pasta is my favorite food. Pizza is the second favorite,” says Mihir Jain.
14-year-old Mihir Jain from Delhi wasn’t even able to open his eyes properly. He had diabetes, breathing issues and high blood pressure, moreover he was obese, weighing 237kgs. Usually, a person’s weight-to-height ratio – is 22.5 kg/m2. Any person who crosses the limit of BMI above 40, 50 and 60 is categorized as morbid obesity, super obesity, and super-super obesity, respectively. Mihir had a BMI of 92. So to which category should he be included?
Born ordinary, then different.
When born in 2003, Mihir weighed 2.5kg which is considered normal. Gradually he started gaining weight and according to his mother Puja Jain, by the time Mihir was five he weighed 60-70kg. “Most members of our family are overweight so we didn’t take it seriously then. But then a time came when he couldn’t even walk properly due to heavyweight. He stopped going to school after Class II and I had to teach him at home” adds Puja.
It was then, in 2010, that his family sought the help of doctors. But according to doctors, Mihir was too young to perform a surgery of weight loss and was given some medication instead. Though Mihir was always addicted to fried food, his mother believes that it is the medication that made him bed bound and caused him to gain more weight.
Mrs.Jain says that the side effects of the medicine meant he lost energy and he became weak on his legs. As the years passed he just used to sit in his bed all day, eating. So he just kept gaining and gaining more weight. “Every child wants to go here and there and spend time with friends, he was sitting in one place all the time so he was very frustrated. It was hard for me watching other children playing outside and going to school and my child was not, it made me feel very sad and useless.” She adds.
Hoping for a normal life
In 2013, Mihir’s parents approached Dr.Pradeep Chowbey at Max Hospital, in Delhi, to discuss the weight loss surgery. But Mihir was too huge that they couldn’t take him out of the house and bring him with them. And when he finally was able to make it to the hospital in 2017, he could barely stand and weighed an astounding 237 kgs. Dr. Pradeep Chowbey, a veteran bariatric surgeon who operated on him, said Mihir is the world’s heaviest teen to have undergone gastric bypass surgery.
“When I saw him first, I wasn’t confident on operating him successfully. He was too heavy for that” TOI quoted the words of Dr.Chowbey. Dr. Chowbey put him on a very low-calorie diet (VLCD) since he wasn’t initially confident about the surgery. A normal diet contains 2,500 to 3,000 calories. But VLCD give only about 800 calories.
But the doctor didn’t think that they’ll follow this strict diet and come back in the hospital. To his surprise, Mihir, along with his family came back to mee him and had lost 10kgs. Dr.Chowbey again instructed him to continue the diet and for another two months which helped reduce the weight further to 196kg. For further weight reduction, they needed a surgery, and they posted his case for operation in April.
The biggest challenge in operating an extremely obese person is in administering anesthesia. This happens because of the presence of fat in the tongue, throat, and neck which restricts the space to put a tube into the lungs.
Speaking about the surgical procedure, Dr.Chowbey says “In a procedure lasting nearly two-and-a-half hours, doctors created a gastric bypass in which the digestive system is re-routed past most of the stomach which makes a person feel full on less food. The surgery was uneventful and we were able to discharge Mihir within a week. He comes to the hospital for a follow-up though. Also, he has been asked to continue the restrictive diet.”
After undergoing surgery on April 4, Mihir stayed in the hospital for four days on a liquid diet before being discharged. He’d been eating soups and soft foods for the previous two months after the surgery. Now that he has started walking more, he looks forward to the future. But the struggle is not over yet. At the time of surgery, he weighed 196 kg, now he weighs 177kg. The target is to weigh under 100 kg in 3 years. For achieving that, he would’ve to struggle hard and follow strict diets.
‘Each step has been a success so far, first, the diet got results, then the surgery, and now I’m very excited about the “what next”. Mihir says with a determination!
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